healing the many layers

February 12, 2014Karen Courcy

fat-loss-onion-layers1I could never fully understand why healing is such a hard and painful process and just how much hope and patience it takes.

I could never understand why just when I start to feel good, or something shifts for the good, that its “then” it begins to get harder and more painful.

I’ll be honest when I say that there have been times I wanted to give up; times I felt there was no more hope to hold onto.. but over the past year or so I have learned some things.

I have learned that healing is much like the layers of an onion – the more you peel, the deeper you go into the wounds of the past, and in those layers holds more understanding.

I heard a podcast the other day of this woman who talked about how emotional healing is much like peeling the layers of an onion – and it makes so much sense!

Being in therapy now for almost 7 years I can see how my healing has been like a process of layers, and each layer is more painful than the last. Things I talked about years and years ago are more painful to talk about now, than it was back then because I have gone deeper into the knowing.

I think my mind-set for years has been about the hope of feeling better each day I go to therapy, but never did I think that maybe the process is about “breaking down” before I can “build myself up” and how each layer that gets harder to peel, is about the deeper wounds that are there being exposed.

I have gone through many many layers, and right now I am going through some of the hardest and sometimes painful and confusing.

We look at healing sometimes as a process going from bad to good , but truthfully the process is about going from bad to worse before it gets better.

There were days I left a session feeling worse than I did going in. Each layer that is peeled back is getting me closer and closer to the core of the pain from my childhood, and in order to get to the core, I need to peel each layer and honor each piece as a part of who I am.

Each layer that is peeled back is another layer of hurt and pain. It’s another part of me I never saw before. There are also many layers that look the same. One part of my story may look the same, but feels different on a different level.

There are many parts of my journey that I wasn’t ready to face before that I may be ready to face now because I got stronger and I healed by each layer I pulled back from the last.

Being abused as a child, that child inside of me got stuck and she is the core of the onion while I moved on to the adult, but the child stayed behind holding all that pain, grief, shame, anger, betrayal, and all those emotional layers being furthest away from who I really am, and my job today in this healing process is to peel back those layers to get to the child who is stuck and needs to be free from the pain she has held her whole life.

In order to get to the core, healing needs to be done with each layer and those layers can be very very painful at times, and sometimes those layers take time and patience.

There are times when I get to a layer that gives me a place to rest and reflect, but its important to not let that isolate me or to stay in that place too long, it’s important to keep going – to keep pulling back the layers no matter how painful it can get.

I am beginning to understand the process of my healing more and more and a part of that understanding came in the process of peeling the layers of my healing.

it’s exciting and scary at the same time. Because each layer you pull back – you are being seen more and more to the person you are and the person you are meant to be.


  • Kristie

    February 13, 2014 at 10:11 AM

    Hi Karen, This is my first visit to your blog, and I absolutely love it! Its going to take some time for me to read all your writings, but from what I have read so far, you are a warrior! I admire you!

    Thank you for this blog. I sent you an email as well.

    – Kristie

  • Hanna D

    February 13, 2014 at 11:45 AM


    I tell my clients that in order to heal wounds, you need to dig into them, and that process can take time, patience, and yes a lot of pain. But the key is, the client has to be willing to go deep and a lot of people dont make it to the core, they give up because of how hard it is.

    I admire you for your fight, I can’t quite say I have ever seen a person who fights like you, it’s rare.

    It took me 12 years in my own therapy to come to terms on the core of my past, but when you get there, its like winning a race and you girl are running that race.

    Blessings to you Karen, another great write that I will show my clients


  • Shannon

    February 13, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Hi Karen,

    I love this writing about healing. You have really helped me to come to terms on my own healing journey with my therapist. I too think the further in the process of healing, the harder.

    I have given up a couple of times in therapy and have gone back because of that very reason.

    Thank you for shedding light on something that is so hard to process.


  • Carolyn Hughes

    February 14, 2014 at 8:23 AM

    I love your encouragement to keep pulling back the layers. Our true authenticity lies deep within.

    1. KarenBeth

      February 14, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Thank you Carolyn 🙂 and thank you for stopping by my blog

  • Wendell A. Brown

    February 14, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I love the title of your blog, and so I thought I would visit, then I read about you, embracing and hanging on to every word. Your truth is genuinely sad but beautiful and refreshing as i can see great spiritual growth within your life, It takes much courage to look at the demons in ones past and decide to rid your life of their shackles. Many of us have been touch by many evils when we were young, and it takes more strength than just us to overcome the hurt and pain they caused. Your words touched my heart KarenBeth, and also moved me to smile seeing you will never give up again…and that decision radiates wonderfully from your heart. Thanks for sharing so much, and I will hold you in a blanket of prayers each day, knowing that your life will continue to blossom for a lasting time! As you walk you emulate the best qualities of our Lord, for you genuinely love, and that is what you share. Happy Valentines Day, my sister, though you do not know me yet, know that I am proud of how far you have come. May God continue to bless you and your family with a greater abundance of of His love. Thanks again for sharing your heart!

    1. KarenBeth

      February 19, 2014 at 1:40 PM

      Thank you Wendell.. that means a lot to me 🙂 thank you for stopping by my blog … I appreciate the support.

  • Rachel

    February 15, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    Thank you Karen, this post has been so helpful to me today…you have encouraged me…things just got a whole lot more painful recently as I dive deeper. I wasn’t expecting it but it’s good to know that I’m not alone and that it is what happens on this healing journey we take.

    1. KarenBeth

      February 19, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      thank you Rachel .. I am glad that my post was helpful 🙂 and yes the deeper you go, the more painful. Just think of it as how chemo therapy works for cancer patients right? it goes in and it kills off all the bad stuff and you end up feeling worse before you feel better.. this is the same thing.

      thank you for your comment

  • Cat

    February 19, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    I hope I can be as courageous as you in my own therapy. Being abused as a child, I know all about staying behind and holding onto all that pain. Yesterday, my Psychiatrist said, ‘If therapy isn’t painfully difficult, it’s not working’. A frightening prospect but you are most certainly an inspiration

    1. KarenBeth

      February 19, 2014 at 1:39 PM

      absolutely Cat!! you hit the nail on the head! if its not painful, it’s not working.. you can’t heal and feel nothing.. you have to feel to heal. and you are courageous .. I think you are strong 🙂 Keep healing, keep connecting .. 🙂 thank you so much for your kind words.. they mean a lot to me.

      1. Cat

        February 20, 2014 at 8:21 AM

        Can I ask, Karen, if you are able to talk about incidents from childhood. I’ve tried therapy a number of times, but always struggled to speak the truth

      2. KarenBeth

        February 20, 2014 at 4:42 PM

        Cat.. I have told my whole story to my therapist in therapy. HE knows every detail .. every event, every part of the abuse and I think that has really helped me to heal the way I need to heal. You have to share it with someone so that you are not holding it alone …. was that helpful?

      3. Cat

        February 21, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        It’s always helpful to read what you have to say, Karen. Whenever I’ve been in therapy in the past, childhood is always at the forefront, to the extent of not being able to look at anything else. Unfortunately, my entire body goes into a shock-like reaction, shaking uncontrollably etc. The humiliation has been too great to bare. I’m just starting therapy now. The courage that you and some other bloggers have is very encouraging, even empowering . Thank you, Karen

  • Bernadette Tierney

    September 12, 2016 at 2:49 PM

    You should be proud of urself and all the hard work, because it is and tiring and lonely, not everyone understands u or ur journey. I’m on my now and days I feel like giving up but I believe in hope. I used counselling, energy work , sound therapy and other treatments to get me where I’m today, but along way to go, but I should be proud of myself

    1. Karen Courcy


      September 23, 2016 at 11:03 PM

      thank you so much for your comment and coming to my blog …. I hope to write more in the coming weeks 🙂 good for you for seeking your healing journey as well 🙂 thank you again for stopping by and commenting.

Please take a moment to comment! I love connecting with others!

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